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Supreme Court Will Not Review Risen Case (The Guardian)
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a lower court’s order requiring a New York Times reporter to testify in a criminal case against a former source, deepening the court’s silence on the question of protections for journalists and confidential sources. FishbowlDC The issue dates back to a May 2011 subpoena received by James Risen to identify a source for his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of The CIA and the Bush Administration. NYT The court’s one-line order gave no reasons but effectively sided with the government in a confrontation between what prosecutors said was an imperative to secure evidence in a national security prosecution and what journalists said was an intolerable infringement of press freedom. NPR / The Two-Way Risen has said he would refuse to testify in order to protect the identity of his source. Federal prosecutors argued that they need him to testify to pursue their criminal case against Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer. WSJ A divided U.S. appeals court based in Richmond, Va., sided with the government last year, ruling that Risen didn’t have a reporter’s privilege allowing him to refuse to testify about the source and scope of classified information allegedly disclosed to him. The court said there is no privilege in criminal cases that protects a reporter from testifying about conduct the reporter allegedly witnessed or participated in. USA Today Since Obama took office, federal authorities have filed at least seven leak-related criminal cases, including against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for leaks about government surveillance programs and Army Pfc. Bradley Manning for giving classified information to the website Wikileaks.